Essential Supplies and Services

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th January 1979.

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Photo of Mr Robert Rhodes James Mr Robert Rhodes James , Cambridge 12:00 am, 17th January 1979

I wish to raise a point of order with you, Mr. Speaker, in your role as the defender of the rights and interests of Back Benchers. No statement is being made today by any Minister of the Crown relating to the situation that afflicts my constituents and, I am sure, those of many other hon. Members.

In my constituency, many vital products, including food, are not coming through. My constituents are asking me to represent them and to urge on Ministers the importance of the situation, but no statement is being made. I am particularly concerned that we have no statement from the Minister of Agriculture.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, to rule on the question of what recourse there is for an hon. Member, short of making an application under Standing Order No. 9, to compel a Minister of the Crown to answer the legitimate complaints of our constituents at this vital time.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for giving me notice of his point of order. I have received no requests for statements, but I see that the Lord President is trying to catch my eye.

Photo of Mr Michael Foot Mr Michael Foot , Ebbw Vale

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I hope very much that a further statement on these matters and perhaps other kindred matters will be made to the House tomorrow and that that will be helpful to the House. I hope that I am not out of order in indicating that fact to hon. Members at the moment.

Photo of Mr George Thomas Mr George Thomas , Cardiff West

That information may have an effect on the applications under Standing Order No. 9.